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Effects of Other People and Mono on Emotions and Cognitive Function
(Formation of Bonding Research Domain)

Project Leader
Sakiko Yoshikawa, Ph.D., Professor, Kokoro Research Center, Kyoto University

Collaborative Research Affiliates
Katsumi Watanabe, Ph.D., Associate Professor, University of Tokyo (Cognitive Science, Cognitive Neuroscience)
Wataru Sato, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Kyoto University (Cognitive Science, Cognitive Neuroscience)
Jun Saiki, Ph.D., Professor, Kyoto University (Cognitive Neuroscience)
Toshihiro Kato, M.A. (Pedagogy), Associate Professor, Kyoto University (Brain Function and Rehabilitation)
Reiji Sasaki, Ph.D. (Pedagogy), Associate Professor, Kyushu University (Clinical Psychology)
Masashi Komori, Ph.D. (Human Sciences), Associate Professor, Osaka Electro-Communication University (Cognitive Psychology)

Collaborative Project Researchers
Atsunori Ariga, Ph.D. (Psychology), University of Illinois (Experimental Psychology)
Miho Kitamura, Ph.D. (Literature), Cooperative Researcher協力研究員, University of Tokyo (Experimental Psychology)
Masato Nunoi, M.A. (Pedagogy), Doctoral Student, Kyoto University, JSPS DC2 (Cognitive Psychology)

Collaborators from the Kokoro Research Center
Ayako Morisaki, Assistant Professor, Kokoro Research Center, Kyoto University
Chika Nagaoka, Researcher, Kokoro Research Center, Kyoto University
Yoshiyuki Ueda, Researcher, Kokoro Research Center, Kyoto University


Individual minds, consciousnesses, and conduct are substantially influenced by others' gaze or presence. In some instances, others' gaze or presence reduce one's concentration on the topic at hand; in others, cognitive function is enhanced by such attention. Even the presence a Buddha image can draw our attention, give rise to feelings such as fear or relief, and have long-term effects on our awareness, emotion, and behavior. In clinical psychology counseling, the importance of an observer watching the process of a client creating a drawing or miniature garden has long been observed experimentally.

Identifying the features and structures of the influence that other people and mono have on the various aspects of the mind and behavior is important for properly coordinating human cognitive and emotional functions and behavior and for determining the conditions for exhibiting learning functions in the best possible state. This project seems to empirically identify the positive and negative aspects of the influence of people and mono in one’s surrounding from various perspectives including cognitive science, cognitive neuroscience, clinical psychology, and rehabilitation science. The results of this project will be valuable for individuals to optimize the state of their minds and their behavior regardless of age and sex, and is also expected to be a useful source of information for individuals who support the behavior of others.